I first heard about living kidney donation on the first day of seventh grade. A classmate’s uncle donated his kidney to her cousin, who both recovered nicely. I had never heard such a thing, but somehow I knew it was for me.

Tracey with others in her donor chain

Nearly 30 years later, I followed through on that instinct and donated a kidney to a stranger starting a national donor chain where four people received kidneys on the same day.

After my donation, I felt it was important to share my recovery and return to everyday life since I couldn’t find many other examples. I was really uncomfortable sharing, but it felt more important to follow through on that than keep to myself out of fear.

A year later, I had the idea for Kidney Donor Athletes and set a goal of finding 50 other athletes who were also donors. It is incredible to me that our community has grown well beyond my dreams!

This Kilimanjaro expedition will be historic, exhilarating, and incredibly personal to me as I come together with 21 other living donor pals who are all willing to use their own bodies to show the world what is possible.

Learn more about the One Kidney Climb up Kilimanjaro in New York TREND and Tracey’s story in the Denver Post and Runner’s World.

More information about living kidney donation and Kidney Donor Athletes can be found at kidneyregistry.org and kidneydonorathlete.org

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